Brooks, Carter Sweep Closing Night Stakes at LSP, Including Texas Classics: Valiant Hero Wins Futurity, PYC Paint Your Wagon Takes Derby

(December 2, 2006) - Valiant Hero’s narrow neck victory over First Prize Perry in the Grade 1, $1,053,912 Texas Classic Futurity capped a sensational closing night at Lone Star Park for trainer Jack Brooks and jockey G.R. Carter Jr. The duo teamed to win each of the three stakes events Saturday night before a crowd of 5,388 – the final night of the 31-date Fall Meeting of Champions.

Valiant Hero, a 2-year-old son of First Down Dash who paid $6,60 to win, ran 400 yards in :19.722 in Texas’ richest horse race and earned the $468,991 first prize. Earlier in the meet, the Texas-bred won the Dash For Cash Juvenile Stakes. He’s now won four of his eight starts and $489,438 for owners H. and M. Brown, Homer “Bud” Hill and Terry Bell.

The favored entry of Riddick and Dont Let Down finished fifth and ninth, respectively.

“He had to really gut it out,” said Carter, the five-time AQHA champion jockey. “He really showed some courage and determination. I’m just really proud of him tonight. I had to keep my game face on tonight, too, to get him to the wire in front. It was a really exciting race and really fun.”

Said Hall of Fame trainer Brooks: “It was really great tonight. This horse really ran a big race. I love the way he gutted it out in the end. When it looked like that horse was gong to get by him, he just gutted up and came right back. That really says something about a racehorse.”

Brooks, who won his third Texas Classic Futurity, also collected his third Texas Classic Derby with PYC Paint Your Wagon and the $20,000 Burnett Handicap with Dashin Prince Henry, both ridden by Carter.

Last year’s Lone Star Park Horse of the Meeting PYC Paint Your Wagon joined Mr Jess Perry (1994-95) as the lone horses to sweep the Texas Classic Futurity and Derby in consecutive years when the 3-year-old rolled to a three-quarter length victory over Brindis Por Cayenne.

PYC Paint Your Wagon ran 440 yards in :21.351 en route to his seventh win in 15 lifetime starts. He paid $3.20 to win as the odds-on 3-5 favorite and earned $141,774, pushing his career earnings to $821,081.

“Diamond” Jim Brooks, at age 55, won his second consecutive riding title with 32 winners, five more than runner-up Jeff Williams. Judd Kearl won two races Saturday to tie John Buchanan for leading trainer with 18 wins apiece. A.D. Maddox repeated as leading owner with nine trips to the winner’s circle, three more than Bobby Cox and Sharon L. Koltiska Revocable Living Trust.

Live racing returns to Lone Star Park on Thursday, April 12 for the 67-date Spring Thoroughbred Season that will continues through Sunday, July 29. Next year’s Fall Meeting of Champions will run for 32 dates from Friday, Oct. 5 to Saturday, Dec. 1. Until then, simulcast wagering will continue daily in Lone Star’s Post Time Pavilion (except Christmas Day).

Seasonal champions, including Horse of the Meeting, will be announced Monday.

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